Monday, June 2, 2014

Game of Thrones 4x08 The Mountain and The Viper

By s. Monday, June 2, 2014 , is everyone feeling this beautiful Monday?

I myself haven't seen an outburst like that since Red Wedding. Actually thanks to marketing and what seems to be an universal love for Oberyn it might have been worse. After the episode aired all the fanboards were down. IMDB was down. I got text messages yelling at me for not warning people about what would happen. Non book readers are in hysterics, women are weeping, men are shaking their heads in disbelief, unborn children clench their fists and try to yell 'Oberyn!' from the wombs.

The show has done it again.
The Mountain and the Viper, the episode that shows what's left of the quiet and starts the storm, surpassed Mockingbird. There might have been things I wasn't a fan of but they were still very well written scenes. And the finish line of the episode entered my top 10 moments of the show very easily. In fact my jaw never dropped for quite this long while watching the show before.

We open with some random whore being disgusting in a brothel. I had a long day, that's as specific as I will be here with this recap. It's Mole's town, charming place Sam left Gilly in. The random whore mentions something about Gilly's baby crying at night and then Gilly goes all mama bear on her. And then we hear the noise...
Tormund, Styr, Ygritte and other wildlings attack the village. Gilly hides with her baby. Ygritte notices her and puts a finger to her lips showing Gilly to be quiet. Let me just note Rose Leslie was more awesome in this scene than Emilia Clarke in all of her scenes this season. Combined. And watched while drunk. It was also ingenious of them to include such a moment with Ygritte - reminding us some wildlings are not complete monsters - right before the battle episode.

Meanwhile, when the news of the attack reach Castle Black, Sam is devastated, being convinced Gilly is dead and it's all his fault because he left her there. Pyp, Grenn and Edd are there and Edd is trying to give him hope that the girl survived so many awful things that she might have survived now too. Sam takes the bait and remains hopeful.
Jon is there too, all gloomy and sullen reminding us and them that the Wildlings will attack Castle Black next. I may have misheard them but it seems Night's Watch has 100 men. Well, they do also have Ghost but there are 100,000 Wildlings. And they have giants. And something else, we haven't even seen yet on the show....

Across the Narrow Sea we are treated to the revisionist version of Jaws/Predator mash up in which Grey Worm watches nude Missandai. Two quick observations - one, male fans of the show rejoiced as they saw Nathalie Emmanuel (I too consider her one of the most beautiful girls on the show), two - we're lucky Grey Worm is castrated, Graves directed that episode and we all know how well he does with sexual scenes.
Then we have two scenes expanding on that. Two. One with Daenerys talking to Missandai about the inciident and another with Grey Worm apologizing to her about that. Yes, it's all very sweet and very sad but let me say this - Grey Worm's phantom dick got more mentions this week than Stannis in last 2 episodes.

In freakshow storyline Ramsay is telling Reek how to be Theon so basically how to act like who he is. This is some heavy Tropic Thunder kind of method acting right there. Theon tries to keep his shit together and rides to Moat Cailin to convince the Iron Born to surrender.
Theon is being questiond by highly unpleasant commander of the garrison who is then killed by one of his men. The guy who did the deed is eager to get the pardon. Theon promises them if they surrender they will be spared and they will be free to go home.

Cut to that same guy, without one eyeball and all flayed. Ramsay mumbles something about honoring traditions to Reek who is now so far gone he doesn't even look particularly affected by what he has done. I thought the scene was very well done - in the books it was many flayed Iron Born, which is implied that this is what happened in the show. Flayed bodies everywhere would make for one hell of a visual but I think the point was made by showing us just one.

Meanwhile, in Creepyville, we are treated to Littlefinger being questiond by Lords Declarant who arrived to investigate Lysa's death. Littlefinger tries to sell it as a suicide but unfortunately for him Lysa was far too attached to her son to let got and leave him alone.
So the lords summon Sansa, who they think is Littlefinger's niece Alayne. In a move that angered tons of book purists out there (I barely noticed because truly I do not give a crap about Sansa) she reveals her true identity. Again, I do not care but if memory serves well no one knows who Sansa is in the book other than Littlefinger and, I think, Robin.

Sansa starts selling them lies, Sophie Turner was actually good here. She tells them the selective truth - she twists it to make Littlefinger look like a noble guy who take care of her selflessly. As she continues to tell them that Lysa jumped. Littlefinger looks beyond proud and turned on. He is impressed and the two share deeply disturbing, 'we are evil and we love it' look. Oh, Sansa. What would your mother say?
I'm all for Sansa becoming empowered. However her remaining two scenes this ep yet again pushed her into smug and annoying territory for me. I swear I'd love her if she was mute. It's something with her voice, I cannot stand it.

In Meereen convenient plot device in the form of a small child appears carrying convenient plot device in the form of a royal pardon signed by Robert. We saw Tywin sending a letter, are they connected? Not important. You see, it's another of these things that happen whenever the show makes a detour and then the writers are desperately trying to bring it to book climax scene even though the path taken in the show is different.
In the books Barristan knew Jorah spied from the beginning. He heard of this in King's Landing. So once he revealed himself as Barristan to Dany (something that would not be possible in a medium you immediately see and recognize the actor, hence he told her who he was in the show immediately) he told her the truth which was right around that time in the storyline.

Barristan shows Jorah the letter letting him know that he knows. He, I think, was trying to make it possible for Jorah to try to escape, considering how batshit thinking with her vagina instead of brain dumb unpredictable Dany is. But Jorah chooses to stay.
There is no turning back for Emilia Clarke. Every episode she manages to top her awfulness with even more profound, horrible kind of awfulness. She has managed to wreck the only good scene she had this year. What the fuck was she looking at above Jorah's head? Was there a camera about to shoot pics of her for a photoshoot? Was Daario hanging from the ceiling naked?

What, in the book, was a scene filled with emotion, Clarke acted out as if she was in toilet paper commercial. I talk shit about Turner but at least she manages to be very good sometimes. Clarke is just horrid. She was acting bitchy instead of showing pain, she was acting high and mighty instead of revealing vulnerability and heartbreak. Kit Haringon makes her look like he is Brando and she is Paris Hilton this season.
What was one of the most powerful moments in Dany's story arc lacks depth, lacks emotional impact, lacks momentum and it's all Clarke's fault. It's the end of an era - Jorah and Dany have been together since the very first episode. And now she is banishing him. Her friend, her advisor, her ally. But the way Clarke plays it you don't get any of that. It's as if Jorah was some travelling salesman and Dany says 'no, go away' to him.

Thank the Gods for Iain Glen. That's acting. You can see the fear, the heartbreak, the nervousness, all of it. His acting and the quick intercutting of Jorah and Dany's lines showing how much he wants to explain and how she doesn't care rescued the scene.
We see Jorah leave Meereen, alone. But do not worry, we'll see him again.

Speaking of hot older men, Michael McElhatton made a surprise appearance last night as Roose Bolton and my heart jumped a little. Thank freaking God for Stephen Dillane being on that show. Had his almighty gorgeousness not be there I'd no doubt be smitten by this one and he plays a Bolton! The horror!
Anyways, in this scene Ramsay meets with his father to tell him he took Moat Cailin as he was told to do. Locke is briefly discussed (still not over the show killing him). Roose is all like 'look son it's the North, it's bigger than the rest of the kingdoms combined and it's ours'. Roose legitimizes Ramsay who actually acts graceful and kneels but then mentions traditions so you just know he is gonna flay a whole bunch of people.

I have so many things to write here and I cannot write about any of them because I do not want to spoil you.
The scene ends with beautiful (damn!) shot of Bolton army heading towards Winterfell, I think, with the accompaniment of some great music too. I think this is the last we see of Boltons this year, at least I hope as this is a perfect scene to set up next season.

Meanwhile in the Eyrie Sansa is sewing and Littlefinger comes over to ask her why she lied for him. Some more creepiness follows and I keep losing interest.
And yes, here it is. Another almost Stark kids reunion. The Hound and Arya arrive at the Eyrie and they are told Lysa is dead. Arya, struck by the cruel irony of this being yet another time she is near a member of her family who turns out to be dead explodes with laughter.

I loved that. In the book it is Tyrion who starts laughing manically upon seeing the outcome of trial by combat. The show honored that reaction by giving it to Arya and what they did with Tyrion was for me, far more effective. Very respectful, very clever, everyone wins.

Next we see Littlefinger who is talking to Robin (drops a nice line of foreshadowing in there too) as we know from his earlier conversation with the lords that he wants Robin to grow the fuck up and basically be a Tommen to his Tywin. Then dark haired Sansa descends with half love struck half I'm trying to be evil and don't realize I look ridiculous look and this is officially where I stop caring.

The whole point of dying her hair was to disguise who she is before she gets to Eyrie. The show playing the events the way it did suggests Sansa becoming different - cold, calculated, sinister. And Turner doesn't has range for any of this. Oh, boy, this will be fun next season.

We arrive at controversial part of the episode. People are running around praising Turner and nominating Emilia for major awards, they keep complaining about nudity and rape scenes but when actual good acting and subtle symbolism happens there is talk of  'wasted of screentime'. This world is doomed.

This is one of these pair's many scenes that have been wonderful without exception since the beginning of the show - the scenes depicting the bond between Jaime and Tyrion. Jaime is there as the last one giving Tyrion courage before the fight. The two joke about their simpleminded cousin. Tyrion's mind starts going to dark places as those who are frightened often behave. He starts panicking that if Oberyn loses, Tyrion dies. The fear and vulnerability in Peter Dinklage's voice were incredible.
Tyrion mentions how their cousin used to kill beetles. Crush them, hundreds of them, for no reason. Tyrion tried to understand why it was, what reason did he have to kill those beetles. He never got an answer.

That scene is not only a tremendous moment in terms of what the entire series is plagued with- evil men, simple men, men who don't even bother about thinking of the magnitude of killing, taking lives just because they can, just because they feel like it, chaos and randomness of it all - but it's also the perfect set up for the crowning moment of that episode.
The trial by combat where it is up to Gods to decide who wins. Champion of the Crown - The Mountain, who if wins dooms Tyrion's life. Champion of the accused - Oberyn, who if wins proves Tyrion's innocence.

The moment Tyrion enters the stage of the fight is amazing - the music, the cinematography - such a fantastic way to start the scene. He sees Oberyn, drinking and kissing Ellaria. Tyrion is nervous about Oberyn being so carefree and about his armor being so light. Next to them there is a tent with the spectators - Cersei, Tywin, Jaime...
Gregor enters to Ellaria's horror '- Are you gonna fight THAT?' '- I'm gonna kill THAT!' Oberyn answers in the lines lifted straight off the book. Pycelle goes to the middle of the arena to announce the trial. When it starts Oberyn puts a show for the crowd, spinning with his spear, moving so fast, circling around

Many people were worried the lines from the book won't be kept but they were. Oberyn tells the Mountain he is there to avenge his sister. Elia. Princess of Dorne. He is there to avenge her children that he killed, after which he raped her and murdered her.

You raped her. You murdered her. You killed her children.

Oberyn yells over and over again as he tries to poke Mountain with his spear, avoid his sword, spins, jumps and moves so fast you can barely see him. The Mountain is growing more and more furious. It's like watching an elephant and a hummingbird.

Graves may be a shit director when it comes to subtlety of sexuality but my God the man can direct a fight. Thanks to the choreography, the tension, the editing and just flawless pacing this is now easily my favorite duel in the show, and given how flawless its ending is it even topped the famous Thirteenth scene from Rome.

As Oberyn keeps on shouting, he becomes more and more angry. His spear breaks and he quickly grabs another. Several times he falls on the ground, Mountain can throw him like a ragdoll. But he stands up and continues to tire and taunt his enemy.

The show has a way of making the emotional scenes even more emotional and so it was the case here - with the hopeful and reassuring looks exchanged by Jaime and Tyrion, both impressed with Oberyn ability to fight and both becoming more and more hopeful Tyrion will be find Innocent with each second and the final smile Oberyn and Ellaria share. That just made everything so much more awful.
To understand what happened here is to realize that sometimes the most noble of quests turn into just as strong obsession. Oberyn has been consumed with his desire to avenge his beloved sister for years. His older brother Doran held him back, But when Oberyn heard Cersei chose Gregor for a champion, it was a sign. It was his chance. It's not about winning. It's not about losing. It's about hearing the admission of guilt in front of the entire world. And it's about vengeance.

After Oberyn 'for a second had wings' (which is my favorite moment of the duel) and put the spear through the Mountain he doesn't let go. It's not over. He wants The Mountain to admit what he did. And - in addition to the book content - he wants to hear who gave the order (camera panning to Tywin to whom he is pointing). He is circling around the Mountain.

And then just after Oberyn glimpses Ellaria, The Mountain manages to grab Oberyn's leg. The Mountain pulls Obryn close to him and we see fear, true fear in Oberyn's eyes - he is going to pay for how bold he was. He is going to pay for wanting to avenge his sister. And in this moment ironically Oberyn gets what he wants - The Mountain says Elia's name and confesses.

I'm not sure why the show introduced the confusion of having Oberyn say The Mountain cut Elia in half with his greatsword, yes he did say it's a rumor and I'm glad the show stayed close to the book with the lines during trial. The whole irony in the outcome of trial by combat is that Oberyn dies the way Elia did. The Mountain confesses - as he is punching Oberyn causing his teeth to fall out...

...and sticking his fingers in his eyes gouging them. He then tells Oberyn he killed her by smashing her head and he does the same to him. The result is essentially the same as in the book where the Mountain - after the eye gouging part - put his entire fist, which was in gauntlet, into Oberyn's mouth. Upon pulling back he massacred his face and caused his teeth to fall out.

This right here is what I consider the most horrific death in the book series. There are worse deaths - Vargo Hoat, the man who maimed Jaime in the book, is essentially fed pieces of himself by the Mountain until he dies, but he is a bad person.

Oberyn Martell was not an evil man. And he had right and love on his side.
Here's another part of the shock - the hype. Oberyn is the first major player we meet from Dorne in the books and in the show. In the TV show he was ridiculously promoted in all the trailers. Most people in Internet polls really did believe he will win that trial. It can be a mixture of many things - the realization that if Oberyn dies, Tyrion last chance to live is gone. The hope that the good will win. The feeling that they won't kill off such a fan favorite character.

And we did only have Red Wedding last year. Yet the show still has the ability to punch us in the heart.
For me it was the only revelation that made my jaw drop and almost made me fall into despair. I know all the twists (well, apart form those occasions the show strays dramatically from the source material or moves beyond the books) but this is the first one that hit me so hard. It's because they really didn't hold back and because of how amazingly well directed that sequence was.

When we see the champions, the people they are representing come into focus, slowly revealing smug Cersei and horrified Tyrion. We hear Ellaria's soul tearing screams. And the camerawork is amazing - in the book ending to the scene, Tyrion vomited. Then he started to laugh. What they did on the show was so much better.
After Oberyn's face essentially explodes and Mountain lies next to him, barely alive (but still, alive) we pan in such a cool way to Tyrion to reveal he is not even looking,. He is too mortified about what he saw. A good man dead. Dead for him. Dead for just cause. Dead in such a way. And his death meaning doom for him too.

We see Cersei smiling with joy - by the way kudos to Lena Headey, not a single line in this episode and yet how bright she managed to shine - and Tywin getting up to announce that the gods have decided and that Tyrion is sentenced to die.

What will happen to Tyrion? We'll see in two weeks.

Next week the director of my all time favorite Thrones episode, Blackwater - Neil Marshal returns with the gigantic battle on the Wall in The Watchers on the Wall - which is actually 3 battles combined in one episode.

Will Jon manage to hold the castle?
Who will live and who will die?
Does Night's Watch stand a chance or will they need a miracle to survive?


  1. FUCK ME!!!!! Oberyn. NO!!!! Man, I think the reaction about his death is the same reaction wrestling fans had when Brock Lesnar beat the Undertaker and end his undefeated Wrestlemania streak a couple of months ago.

    1. 'Oberyn, NO' is the war cry of the fanbase this week :)

  2. I knew that Oberys was going to die (because of the way the show tried to make me think that Tyrion is doomed during his scene with Jamie, then a glimmer of hope afterwards, I had it all coming).
    But really, this was THE MOST INTENSE thing I've ever watched. You did warn me, but (as the Queen of Thorns said) hearing is one thing, but seeing - a whole new experience.
    I've watched horror movies, but I don't give a single fuck about dumb, slow, drunk teenagers who get killed in a gruesome way. Whereas now, as I got more and more sure who would win I got more and more nervous. And my mouth was open for a second time during the end credits of a show (well actually only this show does that to me, or anything else really).
    Is it just me, or Emilia looked much hotter this time.
    By the way, I completely missed that the Mountain confessed, I found out after reading it here. I was too busy watching after all.
    I've an idea what Jamie might do, as it will be really awesome of him to do it.
    I actually cheered during Sansa's scenes. Batman and Maleficient look like an awesome couple. I hope she becomes an avenger (I do need an avenger, Oberyn is dead...)
    I laughed too when Arya found out that aunt Flysa is dead, the look of the Hound, damn, the man can't sell her!

    1. They weren't really subtle with the foreshadowing, still that was so brutal and heartbreaking even as a person who knew for years I was so shocked.

      I was pleasantly surprised they were so faithful. It was important that his death would be this horrific and graphic. Sometimes I think they won't go there and they do and it's like reading the chapter for the very first time all over again.

      I'll be curious if your Jaime prediction is what happens with him in finale :)

      Oh there will be so many avengers in the finale! :) The whole episode should really just be called vengeance or something like that.

    2. The promo for the next episode looks awesome. That suspense, just before the battle. And they used the song from the trailer!

    3. They did! It fits that episode very well, actually. I do hope they go back to 4x08 promo music for finale, though.

      Thorne's speech is shaping up to be awesome just from that promo.


    5. I have no idea, probably something specifically made for trailers at HBO's request

  3. Awesome recap! This was hilarious, which I needed after this ep. The whole hair dying thing with Sansa is so odd, I don't even knoe what to think there.

    I can't believe hot Roose only got two episodes. Oh well, we'll see a lot of him next season at least.

    I'm so excited for next week's ep. I need to see something glorious.

    1. Thank you! :)

      Some say he may be in finale, but it does seem like we won't see him again this season to me.

      Oh, it shall be glorious :D

  4. Awesome recap of an awesome episode Sati!

    Oberyn character was perfectly portrayed from his first episode, I grimaced when his eyes got gouged out. Glad you compared his death on the show versus the book because I don't remember the details anymore and wanted to know. Brutal death! Too bad Vargo isn't on the show I would have loved to have seen his death. :)

    Neil Marshal is a terrific director, I'm super pumped for next week especially after all the stalling and checking in on the Wall.

    1. Thank you!

      I read that chapter just last week and they really captured it so well on the show, pretty much every little change their made made it even better.

      I'm sure Marshall won't disappoint, he really directs action wonderfully.

  5. I finished that episode with, perhaps, an equally surprised look of shock on my face as you! A good episode. I concur with so much of your recap here!
    I laughed thinking about the Lion King with Mufasa showing Simba the land when the Boltons had their touching scene. haha. and Darth Maul...I mean, Oberyn, had me excited watching that fight scene in the trial.
    That "almost" Stark child reunion killed me. Again!!! lol. And while I didn't mind so much of Clarke's acting in the past, I really felt her performance to be so so empty this week too and it frustrated me. at least Jorah is out of the friendzone. haha.

    Thanks for the recap. I'm glad we didn't get a Bran scene this week tbh. On to the Wall! You intrigue me with whatever is coming that we haven't seen with the wildlings! :)

    1. Haha that Lion King/Boltons meme is all over tumblr :)

      Yeah Jorah escaped her awful taste, finally :) But poor thing is so hanged up on her....

      Let's just say that the thing that is coming was expensive in terms of budget ^^

  6. The Oberyn/Mountain fight scene was one scene I had hoped they would change, b/c I loved Oberyn so much, but it made the scene so much more powerful. Incredible, incredible fight scene. I couldn't bear to watch the end. I turned my face, but heard the screams. Somewhere in my happy place, Oberyn is still alive somewhere. For some reason seeing a pic of his teeth broken and crushed makes the scene even more disturbing.

    Emilia is so awful this year. That scene was terrible where it not for Iain that scene would have been pointless. It's like Emilia is asleep or something.

    I actually quite enjoy the Greyworm and Missandai scenes. Although you're right Graves cannot direct nudity or love scenes. He's terrible. But that fight scene was amazing. I think I read that Pedro practiced for that scene for months and it shows. He was beautiful. If this season did anything, it has made me a huge Pedro Paschal fan.

    I quite enjoyed the Jamie and Tyrion scene. That was probably one of my favorite scenes of the series. The two actors have great timing and chemistry.

    1. They really held no punches, literally :) That scene actually played out exactly like some comic book style depiction I saw few days back, the last shot of them lying side by side i especially brilliant and they really showed it in such a terrific way in the show.

      Emilia plays the part as if she was on MTV reality show about teenage queen.

      I did like their scenes, but in the big scope of things it always pisses me off when important characters keep getting omitted and these supporting people get all that screen time.

      Waldau and Dinklage are really incredibly convincing as brothers. Great work in each scene they share.

  7. I think we've talked a lot about this already. I loved the duel but most of the episode was really boring for me. Coming to the duel, even though I knew Oberyn would die (seriously considered skipping the fight entirely), I didn't know it would be like THAT. Dinklage has done some amazing work this season but I'm pretty sure Pascal is my MVP. I have not cared about any of the Starks, apart from maybe Sansa, as much as I have cared for Oberyn. He's like up there with the Lannisters (irony). RIP.

    1. I'm glad you didn't skip the fight! That was such an amazing sequence.

      The manner in which he dies is such a big part of the shock and the whole irony thing, I'm so glad they kept it, as horrible as it was to watch.

      Yeah I see people really getting sad/angry about his death. He was a terrific character.

  8. It was brilliant, probably the best episode of the season so far. Well, I hated that Oberyn died, he'd been my favorite new character this season, but I always enjoy this surprise and shock moments. I "loved" the way he was killed, that scene was literally mindblowing :D and very well shot.

    I can't wait for the next episode. it's 9th and promo look amazing.

    1. It really was mindblowing :) I loved the way it was shot, it was a little masterpiece and in Graves' episode too which only made it more surprising.

  9. Yesterday all day long I was like this:

    I thought I was prepared for the trial but nope. This really was Red Wedding all over again for me. Pedro Pascal's incredible work during the whole season made it even worse... Oh, sweet Prince! Now only Lady Stoneheart can ease my pain.
    Trial scene was adapted perfectly. I'm glad it wasn't longer, I wouldn't be able to stand the tension.

    Oh boy, who am I going to fangirl for now? :(

    The Eyrie. I liked Sansa's testimony scene, it was indeed acted really good. Looks like they're going to skip her AFFC chapters (I can't blame them, those were freaking boring) so I'm hoping for TWOW release between season 4 and 5. George needs to get his shit together and be done with this book.

    Arya's maniacal laugh - precious.

    Oberyn's death wasn't the only moment I cried during this episode. I was crying tears of anger when I saw Bolton army marching towards Winterfell, such abomination, althought must say that shot was pretty epic, only I would like to see a direwolf on banners insted of that flayed man.

    Whenever we're in Meereen I keep thinking: WTF, Emilia?! Her acting is so bad it's undescribable. And all that Missandei & Grey Worm romance - now that's a waste of time.

    1. I'm glad it wasn't longer too, it actually felt longer because of how exhausting it was to watch with all the intensity and tension going on.

      This may be one of those rare occasions I'm lucky to be Stannis fangirl. He's not in brothel scenes but he is alive :P

      I think he is still on 200 pages so this ship might have sailed :/ I really wish he was the one who writes the ending first but it looks less and less likely unless he guides the writers of the show once the series truly surpasses the books.

      That was really saddening to see this scum so close to Winterfell. It will be even worse next season :/

      At least Missandai and Grey Worm folks are good actors, Emilia is just becoming unbearable.

    2. Don't get me wrong, I don't like Oberyn just because the brothel scenes, I would've liked him without those scenes, I think it's Pedro's charisma that made like this character so much. Now I need to watch every movie or TV show than includes Pascal. :D

      Indeed you're lucky about Stannis. :D I hope Kit Harrington will learn a bunch of things from his scenes with Stephen Dillane. Kit's acting has already improved a lot since the beginning of the show. I'm kind of nervous about his performance in the next episode, hope he won't ruin his efforts...

      Do I understand you correctly? Martin has wiritten only 200 pages of TWOW by now? WHAAAT? I thought his was finnish by now. And his editor dared to speak about possiblity for book number 8?! This is crap. Instead they are publishing this: I'll probably buy it, if it's ever going to be published in my country (or our becuse I'm under impression we live in the same country ;)) but still I'm dying for book 6.

    3. He was just wonderful as Oberyn. But his fans were really lucky with the scenes he got, I mean they had Stannis have sex while wearing a coat. I'll never forgive that :)

      I'm gonna be laughing like crazy during their scenes. Kit was wonderful this season but Dillane's charisma is so intense he is just going to explode into million pieces when he so much as looks at him.

      I think it's even less - 168. Those are the ones that are ready, not draft. Apparently he has more in draft but he is such a joke, I think it's pretty clear we will never see the end of series. He literally has no respect for his own life's work.

  10. Amazing recap, Sati! The ending of this episode was totally traumatic, even for book readers. What a nightmare. I initially was pleased with Emilia Clarke because it was something different to the usual 'queen of the universe' BS we've been served for the whole season, but looking back, she was definitely missing something. I hope they show her heartbreak over the loss of Jorah later on. Fingers crossed. I wish they portrayed Daenerys in a more authentic and interesting way as opposed to the idealised image we've been seeing so far (then again, she's just as annoying in the books during this time). Iain Glen continues to be amazing though.

    Is it just me or were they insinuating that Littlefinger and Sansa started a romantic relationship? I feel weird for even asking about it. Gross.

    And where's Stannis? :( Even though I loved the Missandei and Grey Worm moments I was a little bit puzzled by them as well. If people really can identify Grey Worm's non-existent junk over Stannis and Davos the ultimate BFFs, then I feel somewhat sad.

    1. Thank you! :) I know, right? I was legit shaking and I read that chapter at least 3 times. Such an amazing adaptation of that scene.

      Emilia really missed the mark here. The writers even tried making it easy for her with that whole 'tell him you changed my mind' line last episode (I think) and she still failed to portray the sadness and the heartbreak over losing him.

      I think the writers didn't but Turner yet again spectacularly misinterpreting Sansa did that.

      Stannis will show up soon :) I think given what his next scenes are not showing him is the right thing, as painful as not seeing him is, but they could have mentioned him at least :/

  11. I agree with Nikhat, outside of the duel, this episode was boring and not one of the better episodes this season. Dinklage has done some good work this season (I appreciated the beetle monologue after the fact but during the show, I was like Jaime-shut up Tyrion) but Pascal was my MVP of the episode too. I loved what Dinklage did as Tyrion's anxiety grew, he walked, talked and acted like a doomed man. He's so used to his crappy father and sister always getting their way and you can just see it in Tyrion's "I have a bad feeling about this..." demeanor. The way he told Oberyn not to drink and seemed put out by him kissing Ellaria...a lot of reactionary acting by Dinklage and it was done well. A special shout out has to go to Indira Varma, her look of horror and screaming also would have been a perfect way to end the episode and I still get goosebumps when I think of Ellaria's reaction. I also have to give credit to Nikolaj Coster Waldau for his appreciation of Oberyn's fighting skills and then his look of utter dejection when Tyrion is sentenced to death.
    Sati, you are so correct about Emilia Clarke. In the scene that should have been one of the best scenes for Dany was one of the worst she's ever done. She can barely scrape up any feeling of rage, hurt, betrayal. Jorah was Dany's closest advisor, the man she could trust above all and Emilia flatlines this scene. It's such a good scene in the book and crappy one in the show thanks to her. I managed to feel more sorry for Jorah than I did Dany and that is thanks to Iain Glen (who should be nominated for sainthood having to act all this time opposite her). If she gets another Emmy nod this year, I might do to the Emmy voters what the Mountain did to Oberyn.
    I have said that I have enjoyed Sophie's performance this season but this episode does reveal the inconsistency in her acting (and also the plot, not her fault). She was good during the trial scene and the scene in her bedroom, but after that was so abrupt, I couldn't believe her. I don't think I buy Darth Sansa to Littlefinger's Emperior Palpatine. That being said, it made no sense to me that given what has happened to the Starks so far, the fact that the Lannisters want her head, and the Boltons are looking for more Starks to kill--that Littlefinger would have Sansa reveal who she really is. And Littlefinger is too smart to trust the Vale Lords so quickly, how does he know for sure they are not going to write a letter to Tywin or Roose? Or that the Hound would tell the Vale guards who he and Arya are given the fact that he knows the Lannisters are looking for her that Arya's family has been killed.
    Love the recaps! Looks like more night fighting next week!

    1. Waldau's acting during the trial was so awesome. I LOVED him cheering for Oberyn is acting like a groupie with all the smiles and 'look at him go!' expressions :) Waldau, just like Dinklage, is so exceptional at conveying feelings just with the look on his face.

      Thank you, I'm so glad people agree here. That scene was very powerful in the book and I feel the writers, director and her co stars were robbed of something exceptional because of her shit acting. Emilia was very good in season 1 but her awards attention in later seasons is a complete joke. Especially given how many actresses outact with much shorter screentime even.

      All those questions you ask are incredibly valid. They did drop the ball here. As for Sansa I think they are just counting on Lords keeping the secret and now they have her pose as Alayne. It's all very sloppily written, though.

  12. Loved the whole episode! Was there such an outbreak over it? Maybe it's the time difference but I didn't see anything about it and I was wondering what's wrong with everyone?

    Obviously, combat by trial was favourite part and they did it really well. Even I was worried if they will give us "You raped her. You murdered her. You killed her children." or some lame version of it but they used it perfectly.

    Wasn't biggest fond of changes to either Dany's story or Sansa's. I had been wondering if and how they are going to use Jorah's betrayal since it was supposed to happen (Now I am wondering about what they are going to do with Hound). And her storyline pretty much sucks henceforth. So I don't think situation is going to improve anytime soon.

    BTW, while we are on things I wonder, about your most anticipated moment (ever?). How do you think they are going to justify that without any reference to Aemon Targaryen's letters? There were none in show, right?

    1. Oh yeah. I mean the ep ends at 4 AM where I live but obviously I stay awake cause I'm, well, crazy. Fanboads were down, imdb was down, the show was trending on twitter and the GoT related tags on tumblr went batshit.

      Pascal really made the lines so powerful. Such incredible acting, he was the perfect Oberyn.

      I think the Hound thing will stay as it did in the books. I'm just hoping they won't run into Brienne. All those invented encounters are so unbelievable.

      My most anticipated moment ever is a certain lady with a heart of stone but this is the second one - there was a letter - in Mhysa Davos mentioned it to Stannis and then Melisandre tells him about the true war.

  13. Even knowing how the fight would play out I was so tense the whole time and felt so horrified when Oberyn was killed. It helps that his character on screen had so much more impact than in the books for me. I almost wish they could keep him around. hey, couldn't they change it so Doran is Oberyn's twin brother or something?? ;)

    I was really bummed out about Dany's dismissal of Jorah as well. In the book she's so conflicted and almost just begging for him to apologize instead of just saying that he loves her and that should be her reason to forgive him. It was so intense. On the show it was almost as if she was dismissing any old person. I also noticed how she seemed to be looking above his head. I didn't understand if it was because she was trying to avoid eye contact or what. It was weird. I wish she just seemed more conflicted or upset. Like maybe have the scene continue with him leaving and her breaking down.

    I finally finished ADWD! Now I just keep thinking about all the stuff that will happen next year and I'm excited! And I'm also getting sucked into the forums and theories and all that now that I can't be spoiled.

    1. Haha, yeah I saw a lot of people - girls mostly hoping that Oberyn's fate stays the same. I hope they'll get a good actor for Doran. Dornish plot needs good actors, since we will be seeing so much of that next year.

      'any old person' :P Exactly, that scene was just so puzzling. Clarke is just atrocious.

      YEY! I'm on asoiaf forum a lot but I don't post theories, the ones that already exist are so good, people have so many great ideas. I almost wish Martin just complied the ones he likes most and got it over with already.

    2. Hahahaha honestly - everyone on that forum has already done half the work, you'd think he could just fill in the rest with descriptions of food & stuff ;)

    3. Exactly. His lack of interest in his own series is really pathetic. It's his life's work and he is gonna give the freaking showrunners the ability to finish it first

    4. I hope he won't do such thing but now I think that once the show wraps up with the books still unwritten he will be like: yeah, screw that, you've already seen the ending so why bother with writing those freaking books. Or he'll simply die before finnishing the series. Forgive me the bitching but I'm so annoyed at Martin. :D

    5. We should all bitch about that :) If he doesn't write the ending and the showrunners do - Stannis - and by extension me - is fucked and not in a good way :)

  14. Hello Sati! Great recap as always, boy you made me feel like I actually watched GoT ;)

    WHOAH!!! No, not Oberyn! But I suppose fans shouldn't be surprised by now right, I mean it's definitely not the first time a major character dies. Oh man, the WAY he dies is so gory, my goodness that pic of him lying w/ his exploding head, oy!

    How did I not realize that Indira Varma is in this? She's great in Rome as well, boy I could imagine her screaming when Oberyn died.

    1. I was waiting for your reaction :)

      It's amazing how many people thought he will survive. They actually foreshadowed it so much but I guess everyone just assumed he is such a fantastic character there is no way he will die, especially how fan favorite Tyrion's life depends on it.

      She joined this season :) Poor character, right before the fight she asked Oberyn not to leave her alone and he said 'never' :(

  15. Ho-lee shitsnacks. I had a feeling Oberyn would die but then I doubted myself and then I remembered that this is GoT. Oberyn was in control for too much of the fight to win it, there had to be a twist! Definitely one of my favourite characters and I'm gutted he's dead!

    I actually like that Sansa is turning a little more badass and thought Turner had one of her better scenes this week.

    And as for Ramsey, part of me despises him yet part of me kinda likes how evil he is. Still, I hope Theon cuts his balls off at some point.

    Amazing post as usual!

    1. Thank you! If it makes anyone feel better there will be many joyful moments in this season. Horrible too, but there will be some joy :)

      Ramsay and Roose are such shits but I do like their scenes, as much as I think Ramsay is getting a bit too much screentime, especially last season.

  16. I am heartbroken. I didn't even know it but Oberyn was my baby and I miss him! Got a mini heart attack when you said we'll find out Tyrion's fate in two weeks -- is there another break? You meant the finale, though, right?

    Castle Black will stand? Hahahahahahahahaha. No way. Too many giant legs along with them wildlings. Though after this episode's ending I'm committed to expecting nothing from Thrones.

    I'm really glad they gave that laughter to Arya -- it worked so well! -- especially since Tyrion's face was all that we needed. I saw a book quote somewhere, at least I think it was that, and it was literally counting everything Tyrion had eaten and now vomited out. What the fuck. How the hell does that work in a fight scene?

    Grrrrrreat recap, Sati, I love the screencaps today!

    1. No no, the two week thing is because 4x09 is just the Wall :)

      Finale is when we see Tyrion again.

      That's a good strategy, they'll throw every story line on its ass by the end of this season

      Yeah he does puke his breakfast. It was actually very well written as it focused on Tyrion's pov and he literally saw everything come out of him, much like all the hope in that moment.The show reaction was better, though.

      Thank you! :)

  17. All I have to say is holy fuck.

    I knew Oberyn was going to die (caught a glance on a wiki page by accident) but I didn't know when or how. That was unbelievably brutal.

    This show is so sadistic. Oberyn comes in at the beginning of the season, quickly becomes a huge favorite and then he's snuffed just like that. There are so few likable characters anymore, yet I will always stick around just because the show is still so damn good.

    You're very much on point in your criticism on Clarke. I enjoyed her work early in the series, but she keeps getting progressively worse as her character gains more and more power. Very disappointing. :\

    I'm really bummed about Jorah leaving, too. Glad to hear he will be back in some capacity at least.

    Loved the Arya/Hound scene, though it's painful to see yet another near-reunion for the Starks. Curious to see where they go now.

    But yeah, what an episode. Great recap as always, Sati!

    (sorry if this is a double post, not sure if it went through)

    1. Some characters are going to become likable :) But yeah Oberyn was such a shocker - they set him up as such a big player and then 7 eps later he is gone. But it was necessary for the future plot.

      She was really good in season and had some good moments last year but this year she didn't have a single good scene :/

      He will be back for sure :)

      Thank you! ^^